Toshiba’s Portégé series has been around for quite a while now, but they’ve often slipped under the radar, leaving their more flashy competitors to make a noise about their wares. Nevertheless, in terms of functionality, the Portégé series has been right up there with the others. Toshiba recently launched their Portégé R830 notebook in the Indian market. Is it worth the investment? Let's find out.
a 13.3 inch screen
Design and Build Quality
The Portégé comes in an all black design with a hint of silver along the edges. It’s portable, light in weight and has a matte finish to it, which gives it a very demure plain look. The lid is quite thin and the R830 is one of the thinner notebooks in the market currently.
The notebook has pretty much everything covered, in terms of connectivity options. The charging port, VGA port, eSATA cum USB port, HDMI port and USB 2.0 port are located on the left, while the USB 3.0 port along with a DVD writer, SD card slot, headphone, mic jack and LAN port are located on the right.
Along the interior, the speakers are located above the keyboard with one pair situated next to Toshiba's utility Eco key. The screen to projector key is separately located at the top as well. In between the keyboard and the touchpad, we have the touchpad lock key and the fingerprint scanner snugly fits in between the soft keys of the touchpad. The design isn't really anything extraordinary, but it does have that elegant sophisticated look of a no - nonsense laptop.
In terms of build quality, we were pretty impressed to see the panel around the 13.3-inch display well re-inforced. The two hinges on either ends of the laptop are extremely sturdy as well and there was no wobbling of any kind. The bottom panel is pretty tough as well and in terms of ruggedness, it looked quite comparable to the ThinkPad X220, we reviewed earlier. Toshiba have done pretty well to get the right design and build for the R830.
The R830 is powered by an Intel Core i7 – 2620M CPU running at a clock speed of 2.70GHz. It’s got 4GB of RAM under the hood along with 640GB of hard disk space of which around 583GB is available to the user. It’s got Intel’s integrated HD graphics card 3000 as well and the display comes in at a resolution of 1366 x 768. In terms of connectivity, the notebook comes with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and a webcam capable of recording at 720p. On the software part, the notebook comes with the 64-bit Windows 7 Professional operating system. They’ve got a couple of integrated software that come bundled with the laptop as well and we’ve covered them in the next section.
Toshiba Bulletin board allows users to use their workspace quite literally as a bulletin board. So, you can pin items to the bar, drag and drop photos and view them collectively, get gadgets and tools and utilize your screen as a white board. It's a well thought of application and it’s definitely 10x better than the bloatware apps we’re more often used to seeing from manufacturers.
There’s also the ReelTime application that neatly arranges all your photographs, documents and videos in files for easy viewing. Applications like these are quite welcome, because neither do they put too much strain on system resources whilst running in the background, nor do they get classified as bloatware. On the contrary, if you’re presenting something or segregating your files, they do come quite handy. Besides these, there’s a PC diagnostic tool, and a recovery media creator bundled in as well.
The laptop also supports power off charging, so if you leave your devices connected via the USB, they can charge, even if the laptop isn’t powered on. We’re seeing this more often now and it was present on the 5830TG as well. It’s definitely a good feature to have, because it’s great for charging a dead handset on the move.
The laptop has extremely quick boot up times, it took around 17 seconds before we could start off with our work on the R830. Multitasking too isn’t an issue and the Core i7 processor definitely flexes its muscles out here. The R830 has decent viewing angles, but we didn’t like the default brightness and contrast settings. In terms of comfort, we quite liked typing on the keyboard and the keypad. We didn’t like the placement of the fingerprint reader, but that’s more of a personal choice.
Keyboard and trackpad is brilliant
The laptop is slightly elevated, due to the raised battery panel at the back and it makes for easy typing. The only addition we’d have loved to have would be a backlit panel. Movement detection is fast, and the laptop immediately notifies you, in case it’s subjected to a lot of movement, helping secure your hard disks. We did notice some noise, though when the R830 was pushed to its limit. Heating issues are pretty much non-existent under normal performance, but we did notice some heating along the left bottom area in our high performance test. This ultraportable device does the work efficiently, but don’t expect it to do it quietly.
Slim and portable
Besides the real world tests, we put the R830 through our synthetic benchmarks to guage its power and in a nutshell, this model quite impressed us. Have a look at the scores below.
In our Battery Eater Pro test, the Portégé R830 gave us a runtime of two hours and five minutes with all performance settings maxed out. It didn’t fare as well as the X220, but hey second place isn’t bad still, right? Under normal usage, you’ll get around 6 hours of usage, so no more worries about running out of juice while travelling.
The Portégé R830 is priced at Rs.85,589 (MRP) and Rs. 80,990 (MOP). It’s got the specs, but the price is quite exorbitant. The only noticeable cons in the performance were lack of a backlit keyboard and slight overheating when pushed to the max. Besides that, it’s fast, efficient, powerful and has a brilliant battery life – the bare essentials needed for a powerhouse performer. If the pricing is not a problem for you, then the R830 is a good buy.
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